Palma.—UGT said that the first half of this year closed with unemployment registering an increase of nearly 9 percent in comparison with the same period in 2011.

Speaking at a Labour Market presentation for the first six months of 2012 yesterday, UGT General Secretary Lorenzo Bravo and Union Action Secretatry Manuel Pelarda claimed that there were more than 61'464 people working in the black market economy during this period. He explained that illegal working could be measured by the difference in the number of people signed up to Social Security and measuring it against the number of the population in work.

Both Bravo and Pelarda said that the crisis is triggering a “considerable” increase in the number of illegal workers compared to a year ago. The two men said that they were very “pessimistic” about the situation, particularly - they alleged - that the austerity measures being imposed by Central and regional Governments were likely to lead to an even worse situation than any experienced since the start of the crisis in 2008.

According to the UGT, there are no signs of recovery in the short or medium terms; in fact on the contrary, the recession will deepen and unemployment will increase.

The first half of this year reportedly closed with 90'500 people unemployed in the Balearics. Pelarda warned that after the government's benefit reform, more than 15'000 people in the region won't be entitled to any kind of unemployment assistance at all in the coming years.

He said that those who will be adversely affected are those over the age of 52, a stage at which people find it hard to secure new work.
Pelarda said that throughout the country, there are now 1.5 million families with all their adult members out of work. He said that in the first six months of this year, there was no time at all during which unemployment had decreased in year-on-year terms. The UGT said that it was particularly concerned about unemployment in the Services sector (comprising 72% of all those out of work in the Balearics) which had increased by 12.17% during the first half of the year.